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'I Have Been Sent to Perfect Good Manners' - III

Monday 26/12/2011

Many people tend to think of good character and manners as something superfluous or unnecessary. They may neglect to check their shortcomings in this regard, believing it enough for them to perform several voluntary acts of worship in addition to the obligatory ones. This is not a correct way to approach the matter of good character and manners. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is every Muslim’s first role model in performing good deeds and worshipping Allah The Almighty with diligence and devotion. Not only that, he is also our role model in bettering and correcting ourselves. Therefore, we should seek to emulate his  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) noble character and fine manners.
It is enough for us, if we really want to know the importance of character and manner, to know that good character and manners are the heaviest thing on one’s scales on the Day of Judgment. This is when their good deeds are placed on the right side of the scale, and their evil deeds on the left. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "The heaviest aspect, the heaviest matter [that will help a believer] that will be in the Meezaan (scales) on the Day of Judgment, is good Akhlaaq."
Therefore, even if a person had not performed many voluntary acts of worship, they could make that up on the Day of Judgment by their good character and manners. In addition, the better their character and manners, the closer a person will be to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) on the Day of Judgment as well as in Paradise.The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: 
  • "Those of you who will be closest to me on the Day of Judgment will be those who have the best Akhlaaq."  
  • "Those who are most beloved to me, and the closest to me in the Hereafter, are those who have the best Akhlaaq amongst you. And the people who are the most hated by me and the ones who are the furthest from me in the Hereafter are those who have the worst Akhlaaq."  
Thus, we see that those with a beautiful character and pleasant manners will be in close proximity to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) while those who possessed a bad character and harsh manners will be far away from him. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) even described the latter, whose principal characteristics are that they are vulgar, crude, and coarse in their manner of talking. They are arrogant and look down upon people. They have a thoroughly bad and decayed character, and they do not scruple to hide it from other people.
Good character and manners are also a cause for one’s admittance to Paradise. Someone asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) "What is the one characteristic that will cause the most [number of] people to enter Paradise?" The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied: "To have the Taqwa (fear; consciousness) of Allah and to have good Akhlaaq." Thus, we see that good character and manners come directly after Taqwa, which is piety and being aware of the presence of Allah The Almighty and His watchfulness over you. Does this not emphasize the blessing of having a good character and virtuous manners?
The importance of good character and manners does not end here; good character and manners have many more merits and virtues. However, we will now discuss the two extremes when it comes to manners: one is to say that good character and manners are not very significant in religion and become careless about them; and the other is to be negligent in one’s obligations, under the pretext that good character and manners will save them from punishment.
Both the above approaches are wrong. Good character and manners are an essential part of the teachings of Islam; hence, they should not be ignored or neglected. On the other hand, one should ensure that they are not abandoning the acts of worship that are obligatory upon every Muslim, like praying five times a day, fasting the month of Ramadan, etc. One is also encourage to perform voluntary acts of worship according to one’s ability, including the Dhuha (forenoon) prayer, Tahajjud (voluntary night prayers), etc. Having a good character and manners does not mean one should not make some effort to perform these extra acts of worship, “saving up” for the Hereafter.
 

'I Have Been Sent to Perfect Good Manners' - I
 

'I Have Been Sent to Perfect Good Manners' - II

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